HDCAM and HDCAM SR
HDCAM offers high-end 4:2:2 quality in a tape-based format. Great for commercials, features, documentaries and television. HDCAM SR is Sony's 4:4:4 format and represents the highest end in the Sony CineAlta family. SR is usually associated with large budget feature and commercial production.
XDCAM-HD offers 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 quality in a file based disc format. Recently added to the Sony CineAlta family, this format is the new thing from Sony. Discs are cheap and offer a great way to shoot and archive on the same disc. This avoids the additional step of transferring your footage from flash cards to hard drives and provides an excellent long-term archive format. Just shoot and hand over the disc to the client. The footage on the disc can then be imported into any of the popular non-liner edit systems. Call for more information on this new technology. This format is growing in popularity and is excellent for features, commercial, television and industrial production.
Sony XDCAM-EX offers XDCAM quality recorded on a flash card. The Sony EX1 and EX3 cameras are each a small profile camera and offer excellent picture quality using CMOS chips in a compact package. These cameras are great for documentaries, industrial projects and low-budget features.
Panasonic P2 offers an array of cameras to the small lightweight HVX-200 to the new P2 Varicam line. Each camera records to a P2 flash card and is downloaded to hard drives or imported directly from the P2 card into non-liner systems. The HVX-200 represents the low end of the P2 family and is an excellent choice for HD quality in a small profile camera. The Varicam family offers the best that Panasonic has to offer in a full-size camera and is an excellent choice for feature and commercial production.
RED is new to the digital cinema world with their RED ONE 4k camera. RED shoots in it's own proprietary 4:4:4 codec and offers a true alternative to 35mm film. RED is recommended for commercial and feature production where there is sufficient time given to pre-production and workflow. RED is not a format, which can be shot and handed to a client for a traditional quick edit. Though RED is a file based format, RED shoots in a RAW format and requires more color correction and grading not usually associated with projects shot in HDCAM, XDCAM, P2, etc. However, RED offers an outstanding image and should be one of the first choices when considering high-end production quality. RED experienced personnel are strongly recommended.